ISSUES RAISED A general view of Páirc Josie Munnelly in Castlebar where the recent Mayo Under-17 'A' football championship semi-final was played. Pic: Sportsfile
MAYO GAA chiefs say they ‘acknowledge the concerns raised by Castlebar Mitchels’ and ‘will continue to liaise with Connacht GAA and the GAA centrally in an effort to
address the issues raised’ by Castlebar Mitchels GAA club in a statement which was issued last night (Wednesday).
In their statement which was released via their social media platforms, Castlebar Mitchels called on the County Board to ‘not resume’ the Mayo Under-17 ‘A’ football championship ‘until all investigations are completed’ into a number of issues.
Castlebar Mitchels released their statement after their Mayo Under-17 ‘A’ semi-final against Westport on Sunday, September 25 last was abandoned by the referee due to an incident on the pitch which included an adult entering the field of play at Josie Munnelly Park in Castlebar .
Although Mayo GAA declined to issue any official public comment around the subsequent disciplinary process when contacted by The Mayo News earlier this month, it has emerged that following a meeting of the Mayo GAA CCC with representatives from both clubs, on Monday, October 3, a 96-week ban was handed out to the adult, Westport were removed from the competition and Castlebar Mitchels were awarded the victory.
This decision meant that Castlebar Mitchels would play Claremorris in the Mayo Under-17 ‘A’ Championship Final.
However, Westport GAA subsequently appealed the sanctions to the Mayo GAA Hearings Committee and, following a lengthy meeting on Tuesday, October 11, the 96-week ban was reduced to two games, while Westport were also reinstated into the Under-17 championship.
No official re-fixture for the abandoned semi-final had been issued by Mayo GAA, and Castlebar Mitchels released a statement yesterday evening (Wednesday) addressing some of their concerns:
"Following on from the abandoned game, Castlebar Mitchels was fined €250 for failure to apply for permission to video the game.
"The fine was not appealed and has since been paid.
"Mayo County Board competitions control committee (CCC) fined Westport €1,000, a Westport official who entered the field received a 96-week ban and the club was removed from the competition.
"Westport appealed this decision to the appeals hearing of Mayo GAA and following on from the appeal it was announced that they have been reinstated to the competition and the 96-week ban has been reduced to two games.
"Castlebar Mitchels is very disappointed with the recent appeal findings and believe that this is not in keeping with the best interests of child welfare.
"The club has requested that Mayo GAA does not resume the Under 17A Championship until all investigations are completed.
"The club also requests that Croke Park and the County Board review their current processes and regulations so that they adequately protect underage players and that if an incident like this happens again that it is harshly dealt with.”
The Mayo GAA statement, which was released this afternoon (Thursday), concluded by saying: ‘We will not be making any further comment at this time’.